Bienvenidos a Miami

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Back in November a few friends and I decided rather impulsively to drive to Miami for the weekend. Leaving after class Thursday afternoon and returning shortly before class Monday at 8:30 in the morning, we’d cover 2760 miles roundtrip through the lower midwest and the southeastern United States. With the total available time being roughly 86 hours, we were left with 38 hours of actually being in Miami after accounting for the 48 hours spent in transit. Normally my policy is that time spent in the destination must be greater than time spent in the car, however the unseasonably early snowstorm and 20 degree weather forecast for Chicago that weekend called for drastic measures.

We arrived in Miami Beach Friday night to discover that nascar was in town, and as such all accommodations were booked solid and the city was full of hundreds of thousands of people who drink lite beer and enjoy watching cars drive in ovals for hours on end. After quite the search we landed ourselves in a bayside motel in a slightly grimy residential neighborhood on the northwest side of Miami Beach. No complaints though, as the price was more than right, our door opened up to a waterfront pool, and a slashy and some excellent Colombian takeout was just a five-minute walk over the bridge into Miami proper.

A few weeks after returning to Chicago, I was watching a rap videos on Latin American Television with a new friend when I was shocked to see the pool at the International Inn as the setting for quite the scandalous video. Upon further Youtube and Google investigation, I became aware that this was also the motel from the Reno 911 movie. Strange how that works.

Our days consisted of this.

And this.

As is obligatory while driving through the southern United States, we consumed much Chik-fil-a and Waffle House, as well as a stop at a rather unfortunate Wendy’s in Merrillville, Indiana on both the way out and the way back. Fortunately, our diets while in Miami consisted of exclusively Cuban, Colombian, and Argentine food. In fact, I enjoyed the most delicious empanada of my life at an Argentine bakery at 5:30 am after riding the Collins Avenue bus up from a long night at Purdy Lounge and night swimming in South Beach.

Joe lost his glasses after being slapped in the face by a wave while body surfing on the morning of our departure, rendering me the only capable driver, as the girls cannot drive a shifter car. Although I’ve driven thirty hours straight without sleeping on multiple occasions, I didn’t have it in me to do this without a break. We ended up sleeping in the car in the parking lot of a Waffle House in Macon, Georgia. This was rather convenient, as upon waking up I had to walk less than twenty feet to acquire my daily serving of bacon. Monica had grits. This is probably why her sunglasses matched the facade of the restaurant.

I forget where I saw this, but I was so appalled I actually went back to my car to grab my camera.

A quick stop at a used record store near Tulane University in Nashville for a re-up on the soundtrack left us with TLC’s Crazy Sexy Cool, The Fugees Greatest Hits, and soundtrack to Hedwig and the Angry Inch to cap out the drive.

Although we arrived home in time for my Monday morning class, I put some aloe on my slightly crisped back and took a nap.

This entry was written by brett, posted on January 3, 2009 at 11:57 pm, filed under Miami, Travel and tagged . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink.